Tolls and new rules for HOVs on I-395 in Northern Virginia will begin late Sunday, Nov. 17.
Transurban initially told WTOP Monday afternoon that the 395 Express Lanes would launch Sunday, Nov. 10, but minutes later said the lanes would not open this weekend.
A short time after that, Transurban confirmed the lanes would instead open Nov. 17, in time for commutes on Monday, Nov. 18.
The HOV lanes will be similar to the 95 Express Lanes. To ride free in the lanes at any time, drivers must have at least two other people in the car and an E-ZPass Flex switched to HOV mode.
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All other drivers will have to pay a toll that rises and falls based mainly on the amount of traffic in the lanes. Using the lanes without an E-ZPass will trigger the toll and additional fees.
Tolling and HOV rules will apply around the clock, unlike previous HOV rules on I-395 that applied only at rush hour.
Toll rules will also apply on the northbound ramps toward D.C. from near the Pentagon and S. Eads Street. Traffic pattern changes there could lead to some delays as drivers get used to the new setup and traffic light at S. Eads Street, with one ramp on the left to Pentagon and another on the right to Pentagon City.
The new traffic light could also extend the amount of time it takes to reverse the 95 and 395 Express Lanes until everyone gets the systems down.
Tolling rules will also apply on the access ramp from the regular 395 northbound lanes to the HOV lanes just before the 14th Street Bridge.
Drivers will see separate toll prices on overhead signs for the 395 Express Lanes and the first and second portions of the 95 Express Lanes.
As the new tolling rules roll out, Transurban said drivers who get on by mistake can call Express Lanes customer service to work things out.
Carpoolers who do not have an E-ZPass yet can request Transurban register their license plate for seven days of toll-free travel until they can get an E-ZPass Flex. Motorcycles can ride free in the lanes.
A portion of the toll money is supporting new services, including commuter bus services.
The non-HOV lanes on I-395 remain open to all traffic.
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